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Gerry Rafferty famously claimed that 'if you get it wrong, you'll get it right next time', but a recent construction dispute shows that this is often far from true in legal disputes: often, if you get it wrong, there is no 'next time'.
The facts were simple. There was a construction dispute and the standard contract used specified that it could go to adjudication. The adjudicator found in the claimant contractor's favour. However, the defendant argued that the dispute arose when their solicitor had rejected the claimant's claim. Once that rejection was communicated to the claimant, it had four weeks to notify the defendant that it was commencing adjudication. That time limit was missed. Accordingly, the adjudicator lacked jurisdiction to make the adjudication. That argument held sway with the court.